Planning a great corporate event is a matter of focusing on a few key details and making them shine!
With an excellent menu for your next corporate event, you can be sure that your attendees will enjoy themselves, appreciate you and be more likely to attend your event the next year.
Here are five keys to creating a corporate event menu that aims to please.
Know Your Audience
Just like with any advertising, marketing or planning project, knowing your audience will help make menu selection easy and successful. Come up with a typical attendee for your event and think about their menu needs.
Think about the professional level of your guests: Are they C level executives or employees of your organization? Do they attend a lot of similar events – and if so – what was served at those events? If you can get more information about the menus at these similar events you can plan something that will be truly unique and exciting.
In addition, think about the age group of your attendees. Older executives might prefer food that is milder and familiar. Health conscious groups may want more vegetable or Vegetarian options. Youth oriented events can have menus that are a bit more adventurous with ethnic food and spicier flavors.
Provide Many Different Options
No matter how much time you spend thinking about your audience members, it’s important to provide options. Considering the age and preferences of your potential attendees can give you a ballpark idea for the menu, but within that you’ll want to offer some variety:
- Offer at least two different entrée choices, three or more salad options and two different desserts.
- Be sure that condiments and other additions are served on the side so that attendees can customize their dishes to their personal tastes.
- Offer as many different options as you can within your budget. A professional caterer should have experience in creating a menu that is cohesive but also allows for variety.
Reflect the Season with Your Menu
No one wants to go to a corporate event in November and sit down to cold cucumber soup and chicken salad. Similarly summer or spring events shouldn’t feature heavy meat and potatoes dishes. The time of year of your corporate event is another factor to consider in your menu planning. Concentrate on food choices that match the season and try to incorporate regionally grown food if possible.
Incorporate Some Local Flavor
If your event location is well known for a particular cuisine or dish, be sure to use it as part of your menu. Attendees who are coming across the country will appreciate being able to sample the local fare. If there aren’t any specific well known dishes in your region, you can focus on a particular ethnic cuisine like French, Italian, Mexican or Chinese.
Think About Your Event Schedule
Another layer of consideration in your corporate event planning is your schedule. Scheduling a buffet lunch when attendees only have 30 minutes to eat is a recipe for frustration. Avoid annoying your attendees by planning meals that fit into the schedule. If your schedule only permits 30 minutes for lunch, box lunches are going to be the way to go. For plated meals, you should schedule an hour and a half at least while buffets can normally be finished in about an hour.
Menu selection is an important part of corporate event planning. By thinking about your audience, offering variety, reflecting the season or region and sticking to your event schedule, you can make dining at your next corporate event a joy for everyone.